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Friday, 3 February 2012

Mystery Monolith

I was looking through a book about the fortitude of the Mid-Wales shepherds when I suddenly came across this photo.  All the info I can find is this:

Bodtalog, Elan Valley, Ceredigion  -- Y Maen Hir -- 13 ft long -- Fallen -- moved from original site.  Moved when roadworks changed the bend in the road.
Approx grid ref:  SN8683075025

It's a rather spectacular fallen standing stone, but I can't find any record of it in the literature.  Does anybody know anything more?


18 comments:

Tony H said...

Wonder if the lokes of Toby Driver have written about this etc on behalf of the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage. Is ot near the Elan Valley (man-made) lakes?

In the 1970's slightly collided with a sheep thereabouts whilst on the way to Aberystwyth by motorbike via the scenic route.

Tony said...

Whoops........... Seem to have mistaken the "o" for an "i" a couple of times. Must get my eyesight checked.

Chris johnson said...

I keep checking to see if anybody knows anything, perhaps other sites like TMA might be helpful.

One thing you can say for the official archaeologists is that they do direct funding at their version of the bigger picture. I just read a super analysis of Carn Menyn by Darvil and Ixer (2008) in which they claim to have found several springs, etc. Meanwhile I read that a stone row and several barrows are about to disappear under a Wind Farm in north wales without further/any investigation. I also read that archaeology is not considered a science by our current government so the little funding that is available is likely to dry up except at stonehenge despite the fact that millions of citizens are interested in the bigger picture.
Maybe Geo knows but he seems to be on holiday.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Do you mean Darvill and Wainwright? I doubt that Rob would sign up to any articles referring to those "sacred springs" !!

Chris johnson said...

The word sacred was not used in the article. Wainwrights name was mentioned and it was posted by Darvill. Ixer's work was cited extensively although 90% of,it went over my head. I think they said 7 springs had bee located around Carn Menyn. Ixer contributed a very dry analysis of the stones.

Surprised you did not read this a few years ago. It was published under the auspices of the spaces project and is freely accessible via google as a PDF. Let me know, I probably bookmarked it as it seemed to be sound scientific stuff with a minimum of interpretation.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah yes -- that one! I thought you were referring to another article by Darvill and Wainwright. Yes, Rob Ixer did the geology.

I have had a go at all this sacred springs guff in earlier posts -- you can find the discussions by using the search facility.

Chris johnson said...

Yes, I read the earlier posts. I had not seen springs myself but I tend to go up in high summer. I recall you implying there were no springs and took that on face value, although it seems Gors fawr (the big marsh) is receiving run off via streams from the heights and has done for thousands of years.

Whether the springs were sacred or not is open to interpretation. I wonder whether you think Darvill was right to identify natural springs around Carn Meini?

It also appears that spaces did an underground survey of Gors fawr of which they say little other than there are No underground remains. Is anything else not known, do you know?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, there are springs all over the place -- as there are all over mountainous areas. No greater frequency here than anywhere else. My gripe is that that there is NO tradition in this area of sacred springs -- that is sheer invention on the part of Profs TD and GW. Also, I see no trace myself of any man-made features in association with the springs. They look entirely natural to me.

chris johnson said...

Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense to me, there are a few "sacred springs" in the county - St Nons for example, managed by churchy types, and a remote one above the Gwaun Valley which still seems to be actively used by modern "pagans" - rags on trees, etc. Probably you know of more - would be interesting to know. A proper "gazetteer" would be a solid challenge to the theories of D&W.

These "sacred springs" would appear to have been well maintained and have a long history. Nothing in any way similar occurs around Carn Menyn to my knowledge and it is good to have your assurance.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree -- there are several well-known sacred springs in the county, which may well go back to pre-Christian times. happy to accept that. But none of them is anywhere near Carn Meini.....

Jones the Shop said...

Hello Brian,
Have you any knowledge of the Holy (healing) well beside the road in Crosswell, about a kilometre up the road from Craig Rhos-y-felin?
JTS

Tony H said...

"Moved from original site". For such a massive stone, you do wonder whether it could ever have served any purpose other than in Prehistory?

Are you able to go to a list of Ancient Monuments for Ceredigion/ Cardiganshire, to see what, if anything, that is prehistoric is in the vicinity of its NGR??

BRIAN JOHN said...

Mr Jones

The only "holy" well I can find near Crosswell is Ffynnon Licwr -- don't know anything about it. There are at least 30 named wells -- assumed to have been revered for some reason or another -- on the north side of the Preseli Hills.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Tony -- I tried to find out more about this stone -- but the lists of monuments in Ceredigion are not exactly user-friendly..... neither are the Cadw -- Royal Commission lists. Time somebody got to grip with the issue.

chris johnson said...

Interesting input Brian. A gazetteer of 30 holy wells would justify a little holiday.

On the subject of cultural links, the megalithic ruin of Bedd yr Afanc near Rhos-y-felin looks like a long-barrow. Any signs of professors digging for evidence?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Most of the wells are listed in "North of the Hills" by ET Lewis -- but the most comprehensive work is by Francis Jones -- "The Holy Wells of Wales" -- long out of print, and sadly I don't have a copy.........

BRIAN JOHN said...

Not sure that Ffynnon Licwr has anything sacred about it. Licwr means Liquor -- so maybe the water in the spring tasted of whisky, or went very well with a dram or two and a few lumps of ice? Doesn't sound very religious to me.......

Anonymous said...

now this is interesting.
Found at Lake House...
http://www.livescience.com/18390-largest-meteorite-druids-burial.html
PeteG